Art & Words 2019

EXHIBITION STATEMENT

The power of one form of art over another fascinates me. Many art forms — visual arts, literary arts, music — carry the influence of those that came before and it’s always exciting for me to discover the little pieces of one artist informing another.

For this exhibition, I invited a few visual artists and poets with whom I have worked in the hopes that their art would inspire one another to create. The artists and poets were given the opportunity to submit existing art and poetry. The art was sent to poets and poetry sent to the artists who were give the opportunity to select poems or pieces of art that spoke to them from the submitted work. Participants were then asked to create a new piece of art—be it a visual art piece or poem—based on the original inspiration. All of the artists and poets that are participating in Art & Words rely heavily on visuals and I knew that pairing their art form with another would be successful. I wasn’t disappointed. Art & Words holds something for everyone in both visual and written forms.

I wish to personally thank the those that came together to make Art & Words one of my favorite exhibitions, and to those artists who brought my own poetry to life and to another level. I have been told by many artists and poets that they were challenged and that the project was a great creative reward. Please view the exhibition and spend some time looking deep into both the poetry and artwork to see the connections made between the artists and poets. Hopefully you too will discover your own connections.

Robert P. Langdon, Curator

April 2019

© Cheryl Lickona “Final Goddess” Digital collage 15.25” x 9.75”

inspired the poem "Final Goddess" by Michelle DeCicco

FINAL GODDESS

Every living organism has a soul, and a purpose in the circle of life.

from the smallest forest, to the deepest jungle she exists, newly created by the ancient ones, she grows from the ferns and earth a final chance for us humans,

to replenish and care

she thrives from hope, for change balance, for giving and receiving from seed to sapling, she, you, and i won’t survive without a greener Earth.

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Cheryl Lickona “Eva's Angel” Digital collage 15.25” x 9.75”

inspired the poem "Eva's Angel" by Michelle DeCicco

EVA'S ANGEL

Shhhhh... night merges with day what is fantasy, might be true his stone to her skin converge with reality Shhhh... lucid dreams revolt reality crumbles as we embrace it precious face notices touch hardens the soul Shhh... confuse the controlling dreamer twisted understandings cherub sight deceives others secrets of the present converge Shh... day breaks the night future to past souls she feels all with vanishing eyes secrets yearning to control secrets aching

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Theresa Landi Daniel “Fruehling (Little Early Thing)” Handmade paper and mixed media 6.5” x 6”

Inspired by the poem "Fruehling" by Theresa Landi Daniel

FRUEHLING (LITTLE EARLY SPRING)

First clue, color cue, watery blue. Greying sky; sprouts shy. Spatter-drops for pale buds Robin hops on soft mud. Worm squirm; worm gone. Showers off and on.

Amber flaking dust, browning, turns to rust that must but just cannot repel the rain. Sun low

Afterglow

Warming dark….

Day breaks. First spark starts slow, sparse and quiet.

Then green bursts to yellow, and violet riot.

— © Theresa Landi Daniel

© Ana C. H. Silva

“Timepiece”

Watercolor, paper, eye accent, ballpoint, pencil on panel

8” x 10”

inspired by the poem "An Antique" by Michelle DeCicco

AN ANTIQUE

my thoughts travel to you even in my dreams black and silver numbered and lettered high and elegant a shell of an antique but complete without a scratch your voice a delightful echo from the past reminds me of the greats that spent hours with you rhythmically touching your parts

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Andrea Geller

“Dent”

Oil on canvas

8” x 8”

inspired by the poem "Dent" by Ana Silva

DENT

The only thing of mine in that house was the dent. I threw a green stone egg at my bedroom wall. The egg made an oval in the sheetrock. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night.

I threw a green stone egg at my bedroom wall. I was allowed to have an egg collection. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night. Wood, agate, onyx, volcanic glass, even a geode.

I was allowed to have an egg collection. The beauty that something inside will someday come out. Wood, agate, onyx, volcanic glass, even a geode. Some nights I put a pillow on the floor and watched the moon.

The beauty that something inside will someday come out. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night. Some nights I put a pillow on the floor and watched the moon. The only thing of mine in that house was the dent.

— © Ana C. H. Silva

© Joanne Pagano Weber

“Cycles of Change”

Acrylic on canvas

16” x 12”

inspired by the poem "Cycles of Change" by Debra Offner-Friedkin

CYCLES OF CHANGE

We rallied round an evening barbecue like a prehistoric tribe partaking of the hunt spoils; post Fourth of July, the dog on his outdoor run barked at errant firecrackers.

We splintered into subgroups aware that relatives cannot be chosen; smoldering coal smoke hastened the darkness so we lifted our voices to push back the night.

Sitting in webbed chairs we lit citronella candles and raised beer bottles to the stars; clouds above our heads danced across the full moon the wind below dispersed our conversations capriciously.

Funny how one has no sensation of the movement of time slipping forward; that moonlit night I saw my generation infiltrating my parents reign, while my children ripened.

— © Debra Friedkin

© jd weiss

“remembering the way home”

Medium format film archival pigment print on panel

18” x 18”

inspired by the poem "Marie" by Robert Langdon

MARIE

I helped someone die today. Held Marie’s tired and bruised hand and talked her through letting go. I was honest — as I know she would want me to be — and relayed the final truth without a coat of sugar.

The truth that this time she wasn’t going to bounce back. That they wanted to cut her open again and clean the guts of this stubborn infection. That the tubes had to come out and she would forever breathe through a hole dug in her throat.

The truth that her cherished independence would be filched and she would be under someone’s care in a home of weakness, popsicle stick crafts and wafts of urine. With tears slipping down my face and falling onto her brittle hand I offered the dignity of choice and asked if this is what she wanted.

She looked at me through her cataract milky eyes. I knew she understood but she couldn’t respond because of the tubes feeding her air like a decorative aquarium chest. But Marie’s treasure was spent.

She moved her head from side to side like a pendulum. “No” she mouthed closing her eyes with final thoughts racing through her healthy mind She didn’t want this new quality of life. She didn’t want this fight.

She looked up at me while they injected morphine into the IV bag. The gaze lifted as her eyes rolled into her head like a junkie. They pulled the breathing tube from her mouth — unrolled like a tape measure — and switched off all of the machines except for one that monitored her beat.

Gurgles rose from her throat sounding like a child pushing air through a straw into a glass of milk. I held her hand tighter as she faded deeper into the task of giving in. “You will always be with me,” I repeated. “Tap me on the shoulder to let me know when you visit.”

She gazed at the ceiling mouthing words that only the dead could hear. She saw them reaching out to her—Ted, Manny, Duckie — and grasped their hands as they escorted her into death. One final blip on the screen and she left without dramatics. She simply closed her eyes and stopped living.

Later that evening the stress of the past month released like a slow leak in a birthday balloon. I sunk into the mattress like it were a cloud and dreamt of a younger Marie. Smiling like how I wanted to remember her. I felt a tap on the shoulder and smiled knowing it was her letting me know she was there. Just as I had asked.

— © Robert P. Langdon

© Diane Christi

“Contemplation”

Pastel

16” x 12”

inspired by the poem "Monday" by Robert Langdon

MONDAY

Welcome the close of day with vodka and bitter tonic. Twist of lime. Leave the corporate world to sunlight rays as grooves of jelly jar pints circle my lips like hula-hoops.

Pool players knee deep in competition capture my attention. Stripes and solids bullet from side to side dueling on velvet green. Their boastful collisions blend with the rhythm trickling from the jukebox.

Stevie Nicks, the white winged dove, sings of addiction. Her liquored breath strips me of my three pieced mask and I ease into repose.

Worries of the day are easily forgotten. Clients snuggle down. Voice mail messages mount resigned to 9 to 5. Forgotten until alarm clock laughs 6 a.m.

Routine wraps me in Tuesday’s skin.

— © Robert P. Langdon

© Leah Brown Klein

“It's Complicated”

Pastel pencil

17” x 21”

inspired the poem "it's complicated" by gwynneth green

it's complicated

is it really so rude

to choose

not to use

chopsticks

a fork

a spoon

work so much better

even fingers

in a pinch

who’s idea

was it to eat with sticks

why spend time

fighting with the food

when satisfying an appetite

is the point of feasting

don’t complicate

the meal

with snow peas slipping through

and rice

that doesn’t adhere to

what would be

a whittled piece of wood

is this a cultural test

for those who didn’t grow up

with wands or rods

consuming food

without a place setting

you know

the ones who say

no elbows on the table

you’re not in a horses’ stable

really

who eats in a stable besides the animals

there should be no shame

in eating your own way

who has the final say

as to etiquette

are you done

spoke your piece

please now

pick up the sticks

let’s eat

— © gwynneth green​

© Josh Dorman​

“Interior: Hedgehog Manager”

Mixed media collage on panel

30” x 24”

inspired the poem :The Collage Artist" by Robert Langdon

THE COLLAGE ARTIST

I’m pulling it together.

Combining the pieces in an arranged

marriage of mammals and birds.

Acrylic and cut pieces scrapped

from outdated medical texts, stained

auto guides and books of jokes that

stopped being funny.

Scissor snipped and clipped

seals and snails and diving swallows —

lost in a jumble of Indian ink and Library Paste

— arrange themselves into a dance.

My hands are lost in the cut and stroke.

The lines blur as I birth

a new collage.

— © Robert Langdon​

© Ellen Martin​

“Abandoned #185 (October 19, 2016)”

Ipod Touch digital photograph

20” x 15”

inspired the poem ransacked by gwynneth green

ransacked

rags

all that was left

were rags

vandalized

body parts

spun

twisted

bent and broken

violated

spoiling

a space

disruptive

disturbing

terrorized

shocking

the mind

into a warfare game

who

why

will they return

does one stay

with a gun

ready to shoot off toes

does one

flea

for there’s nothing worth keeping

don’t hesitate

don’t spend endless hour contemplating

file a claim

lock the door

don’t look back

leave

— © gwynneth green​

© Kathleen MacKenzie

“Facing the Wind”

Acrylic on panel

12” x 12”

Inspired by the poem I Remember by Kathleen MacKenzie

I REMEMBER

I remember a Sunday

winter in the Bronx

the barren streets

enveloped by a bitter cold sky,

a grey blanket covering

our apartment buildings

I remember the wind

cutting through the alleyways

whipping across the elevated train tracks

lifting falling swirling passing McArdle’s bar

issuing a drunken howl

before turning the corner

The barbershop pole

whirling red white and blue

the sweetshop awning

flapping fiercely

Joe’s shoe repair sign

creaking back and forth

I also remember

on that Sunday afternoon

snapping Liz’s picture

as she stood in closeup

smiling

facing the wind

— © Kathleen MacKenzie

© Kathleen MacKenzie

“Zeus”

Acrylic on panel

12” x 16”

Inspired by the poem Zeus by Kathleen MacKenzie

ZEUS

He wore his

indanthrene tie

knotted at the neck

and strung under

a brilliant

white shirt collar

the longer part thrown

fashionably over

his left shoulder

decorating a

tailored dark grey

suit of silk.

Around his

fingers and thumb

he held a tightly wound

clothe of red.

He strode from the courthouse

quite confident,

the upturned corners

of his mouth

revealing his pleasure

with the verdict.

This god of seduction

a figure of bearing and danger

Zeus rose again.

— © Kathleen MacKenzie

© Debra Friedkin​

“The Big Bang”

Mixed media collage

13.75” x 11.75”

inspired the poem "The Big Bang" by Barbara Hall

THE BIG BANG

I see the message of the disaster humanity fears

A nuclear bomb rocketing towards its target on man’s time

Like the Doppler effect, earth anticipates its arrival

her atoms and molecules quiver in portending disintegration

But that is not the only Big Bang

Scientists theorize our origins:

The Birth of the Universe - a Big Explosion…

How can that be? Something from nothing?

Where is the logic? Wnho lit the fuse?

How can matter survive an explosion of nothing?

Fifty years ago, American feet kicked moon dust

Some challenged that it was staged

I’m sure Houston Control did not…

The astronauts wanted to see the dark side of the moon

They reported phantom angels, space ships and orbs

What they really saw, heard and experienced

covered up to keep us safe, the silence of nondisclosure

The wonder and mystery of it all lives on,

Have we been here or there before?

Why so intent to go to the moon? now Mars?

Some say Mars is our home, we are Martians…

Opportunity, MER-B and Spirit MER-A explored Mars,

With the death of MER-B after an unexpected longevity:

“My battery is low and it is getting dark:”

Curiosity takes their place

All report possible evidence of water and nuclear explosions on Mars

Is Earth the planet of the Great Escape?

And Mars the hope of return?

We now have moon dust on our feet

Star bursts, supernovas, do they make the Milky Way?

Human imagination is too confined to comprehend it all

The unanswered question lives: Does history repeat itself?

— © Barbara Hall

© Debra Friedkin

“Tornado”

Mixed media collage